The Unusual Health Habit Jennifer Lopez Swears By To Keep Food Cravings At Bay

Legendary triple threat, actor-singer-dancer Jennifer Lopez appears to have found a magic hack to stop cravings in their tracks. Even better, this particular habit doesn't involve any medications or restrictive diets. Glamour reports that the star uses aromatherapy, and she's certainly not alone. In a 2019 study published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 61% of clinicians attending a continuing education conference reported having used essential oils for themselves within the last year.

Every day, Lopez reportedly spends 15 minutes inhaling the aroma of grapefruit essential oil to suppress the urge to snack. While there's no denying that essential oils and other alternative medicine practices have grown considerably in popularity, research is still lacking regarding aromatherapy's potential health benefits. Even so, if J.Lo can vouch for it, there must be something to it, right? As it turns out, some research suggests this magic hack might not be so magic after all, and that a scientific link may very well exist between grapefruit oil and reduced cravings.

The connection between grapefruit oil and reduced appetite

Through applied pressure, grapefruit oil is obtained from the glands of the citrusy fruit's peel, explains Healthline. Fifteen minutes of aromatherapy seems to be the sweet spot. In a 2005 animal study published in Neuroscience Letters, researchers exposed rats to the aroma of grapefruit oil for a period of 15 minutes three times weekly. The study findings showed decreases in how much the animals ate as well as drops in body weight.

The researchers attributed grapefruit oil's appetite-suppressing abilities to a compound known as limonene, which has been shown to reduce the appetite of flies when used in combination with natural sugar (sucrose), according to a 2023 systematic review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. The compound may achieve this by boosting our metabolism and enhancing the transport of nutrients throughout the body, reports U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, grapefruit oil appears to activate digestion-related autonomic nerves, all of which may play into its facilitation of weight loss and appetite suppression.

Different ways to use grapefruit oil to stop cravings

Whether hankering for a salty snack or yearning for a sugary treat, we all have cravings from time to time. For Lopez, it's her sweet tooth that comes calling every now and again. Such was the case following her memorable Super Bowl halftime performance with Shakira back in 2020. The elation she felt after months of preparation had her longing for a doughnut immediately afterward, she told Entertainment Tonight. "Thank you, God, for this blessing. We did it!" the "Hustlers" star told the outlet. "I want to cry right now, give me a doughnut, give me a doughnut!"

If you, too, have a love of doughnuts like J.Lo and are looking to stave off cravings during a busy day, perhaps it's worth carrying around a pocket-sized bottle of grapefruit oil. If aromatherapy isn't your style, U.S. News & World Report alternatively suggests rubbing up to three drops of the oil on the wrists and chest to help keep cravings at arm's length. While direct skin contact or sniffing essential oils is not generally considered harmful, they should never be ingested, as doing so can have dangerous effects and may be life-threatening if consumed in excess (per National Capital Poison Center).